27 Oct 2005

Pacific states vote to endorse greater regional co-operation

9:32 am on 27 October 2005

The 16 leaders of the Pacific Islands Forum have voted to adopt a regional cooperation plan to boost economic growth, security and good governance.

Late last night the Papua New Guinea prime minister Sir Michael Somare, announced the endorsement of the Pacific Plan by fellow leaders meeting in the resort of Madang.

The Forum Secretary General, Greg Urwin, says individual states will decide whether or not to buy into any of the dozens of proposals in the Plan.

"In particular cases, countries will make judgment about how they will advantage them in particular, and so there'll be that kind of differentiation. We'd also envisage that in some cases we'd be moving on a sort of sub-regional basis, rather than total regional basis."

The Plan contains a series of immediate actions but Mr Urwin says many of these are already under way, with donor funding in place.

So we've been talking to them about the ways in which they might extend that. As a generalisation I would say that over the first three years the resource issue will not loom phenomenally large but there will be considerably resources devoted to it but they are well on the way towards identification.